Tribute held to honor Pulse nightclub victims before Orlando Magic game

Brandon Parsons sings opening song for tribute


ORLANDO, Fla. – There was a special moment just minutes before the Magic took to the court as the crowd, some with tears in their eyes, united in honor of the 49 Pulse victims.

Feeling #OrlandoStrong!

Brandon Parsons sang the opening song for the tribute.

"I wrote it for the tragedy that happened at Pulse, and singing it here with all the love surrounding me was overwhelming. It was amazing," Parsons said.

First responders were honored for their service and help the night of June 12.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings was one of them, protecting the city, telling News 6 it still feels like the attack happened yesterday.

"It will certainly, I think, unveil some old wounds, but it will also remind us just how strong and resilient this community is as well," Demings said.

[RELATED: Pulse quilts delivered for victims of Pulse nightclub shooting]

A purple banner hangs from the rafters of the Amway. It's a tribute Mayra Alvear will keep close to her heart; her daughter, Amanda, was killed.

"I'm so honored and so grateful for the Orlando Magic for doing this for the Pulse 49 souls, 49 angels," Alvear said.

Alvear said her daughter is with her in spirit, wearing Amanda's face on her chest and holding up a banner in her honor.

"I don't want them to stop doing these kind of things because that means that they care and that they're never going to be forgotten," Alvear said.

It was a sight to see as Magic players sported their Orlando United shirts and cheerleaders pumped the crowd in purple.

"Any time you can do something like that, it's a great day. You always want to get into the community and interact with people, so it's a great thing," player Jody Meeks said.

"We have to celebrate them, celebrate their passing. They're with God, so they're in a wonderful place in paradise," Alvear said.